Tuan Leng Tay
Tuan Leng Tay
How does our brain develop, respond to damage or foreign bodies, and repair itself? The Tay Lab seeks to understand the processes and mechanisms underlying these changes across the lifespan by studying microglia, the principle immune cells in the central nervous system. Microglia are implicated in all brain pathologies, ranging from neuropsychiatric disorders such as addiction, anxiety, major depression, and stress, and neurodegenerative diseases, including dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and traumatic brain injury. Since the 2000s, research on microglia have expanded from their immune-sensing functions and disease associations to include their important roles in maintaining brain health and enabling tissue repair. Microglia have been described to perform specific activities (e.g., phagocytosis, cytokine release, proliferation) that support the development and maturation of neurons, axons, oligodendrocyte precursor cells and oligodendrocytes, as well as synaptic remodelling and plasticity. Much about the heterogeneity of the microglial populations and their functional diversity remain to be uncovered. We will apply a wide array of approaches, including the use of different biological models (e.g., cell cultures, tissues, organisms), high-resolution microscopy, next-generation sequencing, multi-omic technologies, and machine learning-based analyses. Collectively, we want to find out how they do their job, and in the case of chronic neurodegeneration, why they fail to do their job.
Dr. Tay studied Biotechnology at the National University of Singapore, obtained a Master degree specialising in Developmental Biology and completed PhD training at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg (Germany) focussing on the development of the zebrafish catecholaminergic systems. After a brief postdoctoral stint at Columbia University (USA) to investigate neurotransmission deficits in schizophrenia, Dr. Tay dedicated the subsequent years to microglial research at the Institute of Neuropathology of the University Medical Centre of Freiburg, BrainLinks-BrainTools Centre, and Faculty of Biology at the University of Freiburg.
neuroimmunology, neurodevelopment, neurodegeneration, traumatic brain injury, brain tissue repair, microglia